A large-scale exhibition of works by Oleg Leonov, academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, has opened at the Russian Academy of Arts.
“M7” - the name of the exhibition, designating one of the federal highways - the road that brought the future artist to Moscow many years ago, also symbolizes the life highway - a creative path of the artist in the modern world, full of quests, artistic achievements, finds it.
The exhibition includes about 100 paintings and graphic works, combined in several thematic series and representing different facets of the talented artist.
The exposition of the exhibition, which includes cycles of portraits, landscapes, works on military subjects, symbolic and philosophical compositions, presents a seeker, a creatively complex, and sometimes contradictory author, artist-philosopher. Perfectly wielding the richest palette of visual aids of realistic painting, he avoids the endless variations of the subjects of field observations. Acutely sensing the nerve of time, the master is looking for themes that are consonant with him and the means of their embodiment in striving for a deep, essential correlation of content and form.
In most of his works, the artist offers the viewer a complex game of meanings and forms, which requires a common culture, imagination in interpreting images, and absolute knowledge of the technical side of the performance. With all the irony and grotesque of many of his works, unconditional skill, the ability to give the image the greatest credibility, persuasiveness allows the artist to stay in the framework of a serious conversation. And the metaphor does not become a self-sufficient component of the author’s paintings, due to the special plastic richness of each image.
Evidence of this - the work of the series "Life of objects in time." In their style, there is also a certain reference to the era of “severe style” and at the same time a modern subtext. ("Rake", "Shadows of the Past"). The artist zooms in on the image, while masterfully “sculpting” the form. The contrast of the natural visual perception of the object and its embodiment on the canvas reaches a certain level, beyond which a new meaning of the thing is born, its new independent life begins outside its usual “function”. And then, in the spectator's mind, a rake from an instrument turns into the personification of aggression, boots and pitchforks on plowed land as a symbol of hard work and an entire historical era. The very space of O. Leonov’s paintings is significant, metaphysical clarity is combined in his nature with plastic mobility, each time leaving the viewer the opportunity to maneuver in interpreting the image from general concepts to specific experiences.
A completely different pictorial language is demonstrated by his landscape works. One of the sections of the exposition is given to the artist’s favorite topic - the history of Moscow. “Moscow-Taganka” - the series includes more than 200 works, 50 of which will be presented at the exhibition. Taganka is not accidental in the artist’s work. According to the author, this is “a real melting pot, in which different historical periods and architectural styles are inseparable. Small courtyards of Serebryanichesky Lane, a skyscraper on Kotelnicheskaya, embankments and bridges - every corner of the Tagansky district breathes history. ”Written in a light, vibrant and vibrant, almost“ impressionistic ”brush, these city landscapes are like an instant fixation of the very running of time. The "captured" momentary state is ready to be replaced by the following and so on ad infinitum.
Oleg Leonov’s works are in many museums in Russia, including the State Picture Gallery named after Deineki in Kursk, State Picture Gallery named after Nesterov in Ufa, the museums of Vologda, Kostroma, the Central Museum of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, etc., in Russian and foreign private collections.
The exhibition runs until November 17, 2019.
Venue: Exhibition Halls of the Russian Academy of Arts on Prechistenka.